tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 30, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EST
and women of the intelligence community who am a day in and day out, dedicate themselves to keeping us all safe. that a thankless job simple expression of gratitude cannot capture but we fully appreciate their efforts. before get you my questions, i want to publicly note my continued disappointment with how the cia under your leadership has chosen to engage in -- and interact with this committee especially as it relates to the committee's study of the cia's detention and interrogation program. recent efforts undertaken by the cia including, but not limited to, inaccurate public statements about the study are meant to intimidate, deflect, and thwart legitimate oversight. it only makes me more firm and my conviction that the committee should release and declassified the full 6300 page study with minimal reductions so that the public can judge the facts for themselves.
, want to plug my colleague senator rockefeller for making significant efforts to bridge the chasm between the committee and the director on some of these issues. it does not appear to be in the director's nature to accept these overtures, frankly. i think that is incredibly unfortunate. i am fully confident in the factual accuracy of the report and nothing in your response so far has persuaded me otherwise. director brennan, let me get to a few questions. on march 16 2009, 1 of your predecessors leon panetta announced the creation of a director's review group for rendition, detention, and interrogation. to be led by well respected senior cia officer and supervisor -- supervised by senator [inaudible] who passed away.
do you know when and why the pen review group was disbanded? >> first of all i respectfully but vehemently disagree with your characterization of the cia's cooperation with this committee. i am fully prepared to come forward to this committee any time it requests my appearance . italk about that study think related to the issue that you just raised in terms of questions, all committee members are in receipt of some information i have provided recently to the chairman and vice chairman on this issue. i look forward to addressing these matters with committee at the appropriate time and not at a threat assessment committee. >> i believe that is appropriate. >> it does not fully answer the question and i'm not sure that i when and why the group
was disbanded. happy to address that question at the time when the committee leadership requests that information from me. >> thank you. i think that is appropriate for classified session. >> let me move on and change gears to edward snowden. the revelations by edward snowden regarding u.s. intelligence collection have obviously caused some tensions with our european allies. allies everopean collected intelligence against business people or those of other allied nations? >> they have. i could go into more detail on that in a classified session. >> that is fine. it wouldnounced that extend edward snowden's asylum and not force him to leave their country. do you believe the russians have gained access to the documents that edward snowden stole which obviously -- many of which have
not been released publicly, fortunately? >> this might be last -- best our classified session. >> that is fine. thank you. >> thank you very much. the me start by saying that the men and women of america's intelligence agencies are overwhelmingly dedicated confessionals and they deserve to have leadership that is trusted by the american people. unfortunately, that trust has been seriously undermined by recklessficials' reliance on secret interpretation is -- interpretations of the law.
protectements did not sources and methods that were useful in fighting terror create instead, they hid bad policy and violations of the liberties of the american people. for example, the director of the nsa said publicly that the nsa does not hold data on u.s. citizens. that was obviously untrue. justice department officials section 215 is analogous to grant subpoena authority. that statement was made on multiple occasions. they suggested the nsa does not have the authority to read email without a warrant. for purposes of trying to move this dialogue along because i do not think this culture of
misinformation is going to be easily fixed, i would like to get into several other areas where the government's interpretation of the law is still not clear. abiding clapper, lob americans -- law-abiding americans want to protect the privacy of their communications and i see a clear need to strengthen protections for information sent over the web or stored in the cloud. declassified court documents show that in 2011, the nsa sought and obtained the authority to go through communications collected with respect to section 702 of the foreign intelligence and surveillance act and conduct warrantless searches for the communications of specific americans. you tell us today whether any searches have a written -- have ever been conducted? hearing,k at a threat
i would prefer not to discuss this and have this as a separate subject. there are complex legal issues ise that i do not think this the appropriate time to discuss. >> one with that time be? i tried with written questions a year go to get answers. we were stonewalled on that. this committee cannot do oversight if we cannot get dreck dancers. when we give the american people and unclassified answer to that question that relate strictly to their privacy? -- soon,n as we can sir. >> what would be wrong with 30 days? >> that is fine. >> thank you. that is making some progress. director brennan, question with respect to policy. does the federal communications -- computer fraud and abuse act apply to the cia? this is a yes or no question.
>> i would have to look into and itst act calls for applicability to authorities. i would be happy to get back to. >> how long would that take? a week question mark rex i think i could get that back to you am a yes. >> very good. i would like to ask you about the government has authority to track individuals using things like cell site location information and smart phone applications. last fall the nsa director testified that week, the nsa, identify a number and we could give that to the fbi. probable get there cause, they could get the locational information they need. asking the nsa to clarify these are marks but it has not happened yet. to havebi required probable cause in order to cell siteericans'
information for intelligence purposes? alln all -- almost circumstances we have to obtain a quarter to. we have to show relevance to the investigation. >> you do not have to show where -- noble cause. is that standard different if the government is collecting the location information from a smart phone app rather than a cell phone tower? >> i probably ought to ask someone who is smarter on the standards that governs those. >> my time is up. can i have an answer to that within a week? >> you sure can. >> thank you. overinadvertently skipped your name and called on senator wyden. it is your moment. >> good morning to you and thank you for being here. i want to make it clear how much
this committee respects and admires the hard-working members of the community. everyone keeps this worldwide threat assessment handy. it is not reading that put you to sleep. it is reading that gets your attention. i want to thank you and your team for putting this together. i did want to pick up on senator heinrich's questioning. we are back in operation here. you know the long history of our committee's study of detention and interrogation programs. i would like to put my statement in the record that walks us through that record. i did want to focus initially on the cia internal review. some people call it the panetta
review. were you aware of this internal review when you provided the official response to this committee in june of last year? wouldot have much time, i appreciate a yes or no answer. >> it was not a review. it was a summary. at the time, i had not gone through it. >> it strikes me as a bit improbable given that you knew about the internal review and you spoke to us and stated that your obligation as a c.i.a. director was to make sure that the cia's response was as thorough and accurate as possible. move tocontext, let me the next question. does the information in the internal review contradict any of the positions included in your june 2013 response to the committee? >> i respectfully would like to say i do not think this is the proper format for that. tiscussion -- for that r
discussion. i look forward to addressing these questions with committee at the appropriate time. >> let me make sure you --erstand. are you seeing saying that the officers that were asked to produce this internal review got it wrong, the committee got it wrong. we had a 6300 pages, 6 million 3000 footnotes. >> i said there were things in that report that i disagreed with. they were things they agreed with. i look forward to working with the committee on the next steps in that report. i stand by my statement. i am prepared to do with the committee to make sure that we are able to address the issue of the rendition and interrogation program at the appropriate time. i look forward to it. i still have two minutes
remaining. let me move to the snowden disclosures and what i think has asn a clearly out lined [inaudible] this committee was created to address the severe breach of trust that developed when it was revealed the cia was conducting unlawful domestic searches create the church committee went to work and found that to be true. i want to be able to reassure the american people especially given what has been happening that the cia and the director understand the limits of their mission and its authorities. the order.e of it prohibits the cia from engaging in domestic spying and searches of u.s. citizens within our borders. can you assure the committee that the cia does not conduct such domestic spying and searches? >> i can assure the committee that the cia follows the letter
and the spirit of the law in terms of what the authorities are in terms of its responsibilities to collect intelligence that will keep this country. yes, i do. me finish on the snow. we have an important opportunity when it comes to this vital review that we undertook. we can set the record straight. america is at its best when we acknowledge our mistakes and learn from those mistakes. it is clear that the rendition and interrogation programs of the cia went over the line during the first decade of this century. i do not understand why we cannot work together to clarify forward andto move in so doing, acknowledge the tremendous work of those you lead and those that were tasked in this committee to oversee. i am hopeful that we can find
our way forward on this important matter. thank you. >> i hope you can, too, sir. apologize to senator collins. i did not indicate initially that we would go back and forth. list is who got here first. it is senator mikulski next and then senator collins. >> i would be happy to yield to senator collins. the chairman of the appropriations committee always goes first. >> please proceed. hererst of all, to those at the panel and other members of agencies representing the intelligence community like homeland security, i want to echo my thanks and support for all the employees who work in the intelligence immunity.
general clapper, i want to say to you i recall last year's hearing. you asked for flexibility for the intel committee as we face sequester. during this intense hearing today, i want you to know that oath the chairman and the vice chairman supported by the entire members of this committee worked with me to try to get flexibility for you. they were stopped by the house of representatives during the cr to get you that flexibility create i want you to know today youere united to try to get , and therefore the intelligence committee, that. we are on the side of the furlough anding sequester and so on. thanks to the budget agreement and will were able to do and the consolidated appropriations, we think that part is behind. we look forward to working with you as we listen to those needs. to the employees and no group of employees has been battered more than the many
-- the men and women who work at the national security agency. because of the illegal leaks, nsa has been battered and by de facto, so have the employees at the national security agency. we are all well aware that the morality extremely low because of budget impacts and the impact of snowden. let me go to my point. the men and women who work at the national security agency truly believe that what they do, under 215 and seven juror two is constitutional, is legal, was authorized, and was necessary. they felt they were doing a good job defending america. i would like to come to the constitutionality and engage your support and get your views. there are several legal opinions about the constitutionality of these programs. as we engage upon the reform
effort which i support review and reform, being led by many members of this committee, that we need to determine the constitutionality. because of it is not constitutional, that is it. would general clapper, would you, consulting with the department of justice, white house, ask for an expedited review by the supreme court of the united states to determine the constitutionality of these programs so that we do not continually shop for the legal opinion that we want to my either one side or the other. l discuss this with the attorney general. protocolup on what the is forsaking a reading by the supreme court. >> is there a sense of urgency within the administration to seek such a constitutional determination?
-- i cannothere is speak for the administration. i would think there would be. to your point, throughout all of this and all the controversy that we all felt and still feel that what we were doing was by allwas oversighted three branches of the government. a current fourth amendment ruling, when data is provided to a third party. >> there are 36 different opinions. 30 say -- 36 say it is constitutional. i respect the appeals process. i think we have got to get a constitutional ruling as quickly as possible. i think the american people are
entitled to knowing that and the men and women at nsa need to know that. -- need to know that. -- agree more in on the need for clarity. they're trying to do the right thing. >> i would like to come to cyber security. target has been hit, neiman marcus has been hit, michaels, who knows what else. is that there is a confusion now between cyber security and surveillance. combing old. my question to you is, two things. is the impact of the snowden affair slowing us down in our aggressive ine the cyber security area, particularly as it relates to the american people by identity and the safety of their credit etc.
has the failure for us to pass cyber security regulatory -- has it been a contributing factor to the fact that international crime is now targeting us? >> thank you. with respect to the work being done by the men and women in law enforcement to respond to cyber threats, especially those around financial fraud and thrift, we are working as hard as ever to address those threats. what the storm around surveillance and the leaks has done is complicated the discussion about what tools we used to do that. in that respect it has made our life more complicated. the people need to realize that there is threat of fraud and theft because we have connected our entire lives to the internet and that is a place where we, using our law enforcement authorities, have to respond robustly. do you think congress needs
to respond legislation? >> i do. >> is there an urgency around aat or should we review as starting point for negotiation? >> there is. one of the critical parts of responding is information sharing. the private sectors sees the bad guys coming in. we need to make sure the private sector understands the rules of the road and how they share that information with the government. >> my time is up. i want to say also during the sequester and so on, i read these wonderful documents that came from voluntary organizations associated with the fbi. it was called "voices from the field." they were quite poignant and it shows that when they say the first line ofur defense is what we see at the table. would you think the agents for us? >> i will. thank you, senator. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. general plan, that inspired --
inspired the discussion today and in general. there has been very little focus on the damage that edward snowden has done to our military. assessment,the dia and it is evident to me that most of the documents stolen by mr. snowden have nothing to do with the privacy rights and civil liberties of american nsazens, or even the collection programs. indeed, these documents, and we have heard the number 1.7 million documents, are in many cases multi--pages. if you printed them all and stacked them, they would be war then three might -- more than three miles high. i say that to give the public
more information about how thatordinarily extensive the documents he still were. they do not just pertain to the nsa. they pertain to the entire intelligence community. and include information about military intelligence, our defense capabilities, the defense industry. now, you are the you have also been deployed for expensive period -- expensive periods in iraq. can you share of the committee your assessment of the impact that the damage that edward snowden has done to our military -- in particular, has he played
-- placed our men and women in military uniform at greater risk? quest things for that question. we have a session in a way that will go through the entire report. use toongest word i can describe how bad this is is that it has caused reason to -- grave damage to our national security. what are the costs that we are going to incur because of the scale and the scope of what hasn't taken by -- what has been customer --den snowden?
at risk essentially the lives of our? -- troops? >> yes. but thank you. again.s good to see you we were together extensively. i want to turn to the impact of the snowden leaks on our nation possibility to connect the dots and to protect our citizens from terrorism. you address this issue at a recent conference. groupsu seen terrorist change their methods as the direct result of the disclosures of edward snowden? >> the answer to that is yes.
the terraced landscape has become increasingly complex. we have seen the geographic diffusion of groups and networks. that places a premium on our ability to monitor communication. what we have seen in the last six-eight months is an awareness of these groups, unawareness of our ability to monitor awarenessions -- an of our ability to monitor communication. they are subject to our surveillance tactics. >> obviously that puts us at greater risk of an attack. >> it certainly puts us at risk of missing something that we are trying to see. it could lead to putting us at risk of an attack. you, you saidte this is not an exaggeration. this is a fact. you stand by that?
>> i do. but thank you. -- >> thank you. >> i want to start with what .enator mikulski was saying most of us have made his comments at the outset. some of our colleagues have had distinct policy differences. we need to continue to express our support for the men and women in the intelligence community who do these jobs and thankless ways. and in dangerous ways. challengeseen under heh the nsa program, and snowden affair, the effects of sequestration. they are all across the country. to get themout ways some of the recognition that
they are not often given. they are not recognize that the state of the union addresses. i hope we will continue to find ways that we can turn these challenging times around. i do extraordinary work protecting our country. andnt to take a moment follow-up up on what senator mikulski race. the challenges around cyber terrorism grow. a report was put out one year ago about challenges in china and russia. i believe you stated last year that you thought that the effect cyber attacks on america had an estimated cost close to $300 billion in economic damage. that is damage in terms of direct attack, and i also think that we see time and again cases
where intellectual property is taken. people can enter the marketplace, leapfrogging over research and design, because the steel our intellectual capital. we have seen a series of committees looking at some of the data breaches. we are talking about 70 million intentional loss of data with target alone. they were disproportionately ill equipped. this is an indication that industry by industry, these attackers can find the weakest link and even companies who are doing the right thing, their colleagues in the industry are not keeping up to the standards that best set and there is a challenge. set and there is a challenge. is there a higher number in terms of the economic threat, the intellectual capital threat,
or the personal information threat posed by these cyber activities? >> i think it is almost out whatble to figure the potential cost may be. this starts from the sheer difficulty of describing value to intellectual properties. is potential dollar value inestimable. totality.sider in its i cannot give you a good number. we have a hard time coming up with one. >> does anyone want to add a comment? >> the question i would have continuing down this lane, i am coming from the telecom sector. there is a concern about
additional government regulatory burdens. how you said it? what is the appropriate standard? having some standard, for the good actors, it aims to be a real economic challenge. one of the questions i would have for you in light of the data breach at target and neiman marcus, what does this say about the ability of the private after to keep the data -- sector to keep data secure? >> this is a good question. to senator mikulski cost point mikulski'sat senator point earlier, there was a lot of discussion and debate in congress about the need or cyber legislation. there has to be in my view, and i will ask others to speak to
this, a partnership between the government and the right sector. -- private sector. understanding the burdens that are placed, the regulatory burdens that are placed, on the private sector. the government cannot do all this by itself. sector, particularly if you are concerned about the piece of this that i am, for nation states like china or russia, which have the most sophisticated cyber capabilities , and the litany of other potential rats. -- threats. there are nonstate actors, foreign and domestic threats. the civilian sector is our first line of defense. in my opinion, there needs to be some way where we can depend usn that sector to report to
to enable the government to help them. i am the director to speak to this as well. >> that is what i meant in responding to senator mel of the about the movie work we have to do to protect -- senator mikulski about the work we have to do to protect the american people. we are patrolling a street with 50 foot high walls. we can see that the street is safe, but we are not used to the folks who need help behind his neighborhood. we have to find a way for them to tell us what is going on. we have to protect the american people. it gets caught up in this idea of the american and government -- the government wanting american people to operate. we want clear guidelines to make communities safer on the streets and in the neighborhoods. >> i know my time is up, but i think there with you. we need to get this collaboration and information on that information sharing is
critical. the challenge that these retailers saw, when do they cross that line and report to the public? is the public had a full understanding of how often and how many firms are under daily it would may be pale some of their concerns that they have about other activities owing on. that's going on. -- going on. >> senator rockefeller? >> thank you madam chair. i will make a statement. i will not ask a question. i feel something strongly about so i have to make a statement. metadatadent announced should no longer be stored by the government. he asked the director of the nsa to work to come up with an alternative option.
ultimately the decision rested with congress. this senator absolutely opposes contracting out this core government obligation. what seems to be lost in this conversation is that every day we face a growing threat. it could cost american lives. the terrorist threat remains a real and ongoing. the government wants to protect americans from terrorist attacks. heart hard fact is that our national security interest do not change just because public opinion on the issue is fluctuating. metadata is not a private sector responsibility. it is a fundamental core government functions. it should remain that way. i am concerned that any change of our current framework would harm national security and privacy. the president has made it clear
that he understands our intelligence needs, but i do not believe that he can come up with a better alternative. he just through to you. and ultimately to us. here is why. practically, we do not have the technical capacity to do this. certainly it is impossible to do so without the possibility of massive mistakes or catastrophic privacy violations. there are hundreds of hundreds of technology companies. they have their niche is. -- niches. the prospects are daunting. they are ridiculous. they do not want to become agents of the government. they do not want to become the government passed guardians. they are stressing that. the telecom providers themselves
do not want to do this. and for good reason. the telecom companies do not take an oath of allegiance to protect domestically and internationally. it is not a small matter. it is a big matter. they are neither counterterrorism agencies or protection organizations. they are businesses and they are interested in the bottom line. their focus on rewarding their shareholders, not protecting privacy or national security. i have served on the committee for 30 years. i know the telephone company sometimes make empty promises about the overproduction. -- consumer protections. i've been to every iteration of this. it is not happy. sometimes trumps their holding to their public commitment. my concern is about private providers retaining this information.
it is heightened by multibillion-dollar data industries. numbers, which are used to determine our personal one data broker holds as much as 75,000 different data point about each one of us. including our health and financial information. further involving the telephone providers would not only make the data subject to discovery, but there would be lawsuits and it would be vulnerable to theft by hackers. another powerful reason to be against private companies taking responsibility for a government function. reason loss athe target of consumer information does not reassure me. at all. should not move this
sensitive data to the private sector for intelligence purposes. it would not actually protect anything. moving away from the stringent audits. they have added on amendments. it makes it less vulnerable to abuse. that theyreiterate want no part of it. they had to. there was a blanket liability. that is a very different situation. this is not a foundation for a good partnership. under the existing system, there are only 22 supervisors. they are highly trained and skilled. there are 33 intelligence analyst who work specifically for this group.
they are professionals. they've have spent their careers trying to do this job well. they work at an extremely controlled environment. multiplesubject to overlapping checks and audits. these queries involve only anonymous numbers, no names. companies, private no one is listening to your conversations are reading your e-mail. the data is highly secure. of the data are conducted only by highly trained professionals. the telecom companies do not -- andese i could not could not train them for a very long time. last year, this committee works to significantly strengthen 215 oversight with the adoption of reforms to make the telecom providers open to being
searched. there were a whole new range of privacy concerns. this will threaten, not strengthen, our ability to protect his country. it is an invasion of privacy. i use my time, that i cannot tell you how strongly i feel about this. the president is in an interesting position. he said he wants to sleep -- keep collecting, but he does not want the government to maintain the metadata. then he started talking about another entity, a private entity. we have all agreed that that is an impossibility not yet created. what does that leave? it leaves the telecommunication companies and they do not want to. they should not have it. in the interest of national security.
>> thank you very much for that senator rockefeller. so that theint out public knows that senator rockefeller is chairman of the commerce committee. in my view, he knows what he is talking about. senator byrd? >> thank you for what you do day in and day out. the vice chairman said that he had the opportunity to be in afghanistan. we met with many people who work for you. they are doing a great job in a very challenging and difficult area of the world. we are grateful for that. over the last several years, the committee has had some difficulty receiving timely briefings after significant event. briefings would happen within 24 hours according to you. moving forward, will you renew your commitment to the committee to read thoughts on this event
in a timely fashion and art -- timely fashion? >> yes, we strive to do that. without getting into sensitive sources and methods, how would you characterize the intelligence ability -- intelligence community impossibility to provide tactical warnings? >> that is a complicated question. we want to provide that level of tactical abilities. the nature of the threat comes significantly -- has become significantly more geographically spread out. that challenges the community and collecting the information that would abide that type of tactical warning. provide that type of tactical warning. the attack at the westgate mall in nairobi, that type of attack , a small number
of individuals, there was a great deal of pressure on us to provide a tactical warning. it is a focus of ours. we have increased our cooperation. as a community, we come together to do that. but as i said, it is difficult to provide levels of tactical warning that would provide the advance warning necessary to survive under those circumstances. >> thank you. >> without getting into statistics, how would you assess the counterintelligence capabilities of al qaeda? >> increasingly good. if you do some google searches for what has been disclosed and -- i go to school for that. they adapt their practices of orting late.
-- they go to school for that. they adapt their practices of courting leave. -- accordingly. >> thank you. can you assure this committee and congress and the american people that the fbi has and will continue to pursue the individuals who killed four americans in benghazi? >> absolutely. you have that commitment is a top priority. a lot of people are working hard on it. >> the ability to share actions that the bureau might have taken in this case are limited. i think i speak for the entire committee when i say that any time we can be briefed on progress, i hope you will do so. >> i saw one of my colleagues asked about cyber security.
thought you had something you wanted to contribute to that. let me give you that opportunity. offer on cyber security -- one of the other aspects that was mentioned was state actors. is a serious threat that we are paying close attention to. al qaeda is among them. many others are described as being transnational organized criminals. they are operating in the cyber domain. they have no rules. increasingly adapting to an environment that is actually benefiting them. well we definitely need to pay
to those places that have parity with us, but we have to pay very close attention to the nonstate actors who are doing things that have been described today. that is increasingly a growing trend. >> i want to thank all of you for your willingness to be here. i yield my time. >> senator burr? senator kaine? >> do you have an intelligence assessment of the impact of the interim agreement on iran's nuclear program? doesn't slow it it slow it, -- does pause itse it --
--will this have a real impact on the nuclear capability of iran? kaine -- will, senator king. we are concerned with the highly enriched uranium. yes it does. >> second question. 20th,ld us back on the the new sanctions would prospects of success of negotiations. the entire deal would be dead if the international community imposed new sanctions. is that your view? >> yes. it would be good to have them in reserve. we need them. but the imposition of more sanctions right now would be counterproductive. >> how do they remain in
reserve? >> the iranians understand our system. if weint there is that had additional sanctions right would live upans to their word. it would jeopardize the agreement. they understand that this is a subject of great interest in the u.s. congress. alone is a fact great incentive to treat clients with a bargain. meet new not sanctions? it is the knowledge that congress can impose them. >> that is my view, yes. >> thank you. you.er question for there been suggestions from outside groups and we hear it all the time, section 215 does not produce anything useful. .e have had testimony
in order to assess this issue, which as senator rockefeller pointed out, the president has discussed, we want to weigh national security concerns and importance of the program against privacy and rights concerns from the public. there is large amounts of telephonic data in the government podcast. is the program effective? does it make a difference? is it a good tool? >> it is unimportant. tool.is an important of thissing the measure is not necessarily a way to get at the value of the program. what it does is it allows us to eliminate the possibility of a
terrorist nexus in a domestic context. summer, when diplomatic facilities in the middle east closedsed -- were because it's right conditions, in the course of that we came across nine selectors that pointed to the united states. the use of the 215 tool allowed us to eliminate the possibility of a domestic nexus. tot is an important way consider the value of the program. you have views on the significance of 215? this is not easy for this committee. the public is skeptical. to maintain it, we have to be convinced that it is effective. it is not just something that the intelligence community
thinks is nice to have in their tool cap. >> i totally understand people cost concerns. i believe it is a useful tool. its primary value is agility. minutess us to do in what would otherwise take us an hour. i will explain what i mean. if a terrorist is identified in the united states, we want to understand if there's a network that we are facing. we take any telephone numbers connected to that terrorist absence ofin the 215, i would use the legal process that we use everyday. each of theng telephone companies, i would find out if there is a network connected to the terrorist. that would take hours. this tool allows us to do that in minute. circumstances, that would not be a material difference, except when it matters most. it is a useful tool because of the agility it offers.
it is a healthy discussion to talk about what might replace that. i want folks to understand what the trade-off would be in that agility. that is what matters most to the fbi. >> thank you. that is very helpful. >> thank you madam chairman. i want to compliment you on how you put together your statement here. you have put cyber security at the top. this is the one open hearing we have every year. those of us on the panel spent a couple afternoons a week on that. the american public does not have an understanding of how important this threat is. i noticed you put it ahead of terrorism. you put it ahead of weapons of destruction. you wisely did that.
you said that the industrial control systems and data acquisition used for gas and oil pipeline and electrical distribution provides an enticing target for malicious actors will i could not agree with you more. is a real understatement of what the situation is out there certainly, they are attractive targets. more importantly than that, we have in our armor as you know. we do our best with firewalls. this is something that we have to get more diligent about. i bring this up because in my state, in idaho, there's nobody doing more in supervisory -- on supervisory control and data acquisition. we also have the transmission and distribution center that we use.
we have a national user facility at an fbi laboratory. the problem that i have done it since a lot of time there. the people there are grossly underfunded. that is true in all areas of government funding. we are all under tremendous pressure. we all know not -- we all know that. you have put this at the top of your priorities. i would urge you to review our priorities and funding and look at these particular operations. they are doing a lot of good work in this. that we truly do need to be more vigilant on. it is unfortunate that americans cannot hear the kind of thing that we hear that are really quite frightening as far as what the possibilities are. i would urge you to consider that. i appreciate you bringing this
to the forefront. >> thank you for that. it gives me a chance to say something about the entirety of the eel. that's the deal. deal. there is technical confidence there that is unmatched by anywhere else in the intelligence community. we have been trying to rationalize the way that we convey ending from being national intelligence -- funding from the national intelligence program. >> we appreciate that. we think the american people will appreciate that even though they cannot know all the deed is. -- details. the next remarks are directed at you. i have a constituent who is being held captive. i want to publicly thank you for
the exchanges and the and the frequent interchange between myself and your office. it is impossible to sit here and think about what this family is going through. we say that we can't understand it, and we really cannot. without getting into the classified material, or saying something unintentionally, that will impact his safety, we go a long way towards helping this family have some ease if you could reiterate publicly as you have to me privately, about what a high area of concern this is for the united states government to return it started to us personally. >> senator, thank you for reminding the american public about this sergeant and his
plate. every soldier that we have on the battlefield that is in a situation like that becomes our number one priority. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are dedicated resources doing everything we can to bring him home safe and sound. i would say to the family, i cannot imagine what they go through. they have our absolute commitment from all the leadership and i know i can see when i canble here say that we will bring him home safe and sound. >> thank you. >> when i was at the white house, i had the honor and privilege of meeting with the sergeant's mother and father. it was a moving experience. i told him then that we would do
everything possible to bring their son home safely. he is somebody who is on the front lines, keeping this country safe. i know that we are doing that. our thoughts and prayers are with his family, as well as with the sergeant. >> thank you from the bottom of our hearts. >> senator rubio. >> thank you for being here today. i want to touch on something that was touched upon last night. on the one hand, we keep hearing about how al qaeda had significantly degraded. on the other hand, we see that their power is now growing in a huge way in north africa and lebanon and the rea -- syria. there is a concern about fighters from syria returning to europe and other countries.
if this diffusion of their presence and power, does this mean they are bigger and a more complex challenge then when their core was centralized in one place? >> actually it is. dispersal and the growth of the so-called franchises into many other areas facte world, that plus the as we have also discussed today, they have gone to school on on how we try to track them. the combination of those factors, the geographic dispersal, and the increasing challenges makes al qaeda in all , is a verys formidable threat. >> i agree wholeheartedly.
it is important to think about the threat in a number of different ways. there is a core al qaeda group. --t is the group that bob brought forward 9/11. operation of that group is not what it was 10 years ago. it is the ideological leader of a movement that has spread. that movement that has read in terms of the geographic presence and a number of other countries across the middle east, it has spread in terms of diversity of actors. a number of those actors have a largely local or regional agenda. they do not necessarily pose a threat to us here at home. it has changed in the way that the director has stated. they have innovated and carried out attacks that are less complicated. smaller scale attacks that are harder for us to detect. in all of those ways, it is a more complicated and challenging threat.
>> the second issue i wanted to focus on bothers me sometimes. it is the romanticized notion about edward snowden and what he has done for this country. theave read things in papers about the 215 program. hass safe to say that he not to compromise operations, but americans and allies who are at risk because of the actions he has taken? >> absolutely. say -- arefe to there men and women in the military who are potentially harms way because of what this individual has done? >> i believe there are. >> is it safe to say that the revelations he has made is the greatest violation and the most significant harmful revelation of american intelligence in our history?
>> yes sir. that is how i would characterize it. >> i want to ask you quickly about asia. i returned from a trip to japan. they have made changes to their intelligence program. , whoever wouldnt be appropriate, and have it has increased our ability to partner with them. how do you see the opportunities to fully engage with the intelligence sharing given their increased capacity and the protections now afforded by law? >> i was aware of your visit. i appreciate your engagement. the japanese are emerging as great partners. the passage of this new protection law is going to do just what you have and for.
it will enable us to do more sharing of data. recentagreed upon a intelligence sharing arrangement where they will share with us and i will be happy to go into more detail about this. they are emerging as great intelligence partners. this extends to the prime minister. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. that completes the rounds. it is my understanding that members do not request a second rounds with one exception. that is senator wyden, who would like to ask a 10 second western. questions will be sent to the panel, and hopefully you will respond to them promptly. >> your 10 second is upon you. >> this is a question for the record.
collection of these phone records by law-abiding americans, is it necessary to prevent terror. you said that it was because of its timeliness. as you know, the independent review condition that commission , said that it is not the case. they could get the data in a timely way without collecting all of these phone records from law-abiding americans. for the record, i asked this before as well, give us an example of a time when you have needed a record any relevant phone company did not have it? i want to say that that is possible within 30 days to have an answer to that. i have asked that repeatedly. >> you had a long 10 seconds. be grateful. ladies and gentlemen, thank you. gentlemen, thank you very much. this committee appreciates the
we'll bring it to you live tomorrow at 10:00 on c-span. >> bringing attention to what women do always returns to the question of the body. so for one thing many people object to bringing women studies or women's history into a middle school or high school classroom because there's about assumption that women studey is only about sex, abortion. but it's also about women in politics, women in law, women working on farms, queens, prime minister. and my job is to break down the fear many people have. hat goes on in a women studies classroom? >> women studies professor bonnie morris will take your
question "in depth" on crsks span 2. d you still have to weigh on this year's book club. wo to booktv.org and click book club to enter the chapter. the house adjourned early so that republicans could attend a unretreat. they will hear from frank blunt and take pollities on policy and strateetic discussions. members return to work on mopped. the house debated the farm will in a 51 to 156 vote. it spends $956 billion over 10 ears and cut food stamps by $8 billion. they end farm subsidies by a savingsings of $4.5 billion a
year. here's today's discussion. gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, mr. speaker. my colleagues, this has been a long and seemingly epic journey that the house agriculture committee that is been upon. mr. peterson, myself, our colleagues literally three years -- actually four when you consider the beginning hearings under then chairman peterson, to start this process. we have all discussed the details. we'll discuss the details more in greater length in just a moment on this final conference report that reflects the net result of both the senate and house work. but i would say this, whatever your feelings might be about the policy issues involved within the bill, understand this formal conference that's now come to a conclusion, soon i hope to be tified by the body, reflects
at the committee level, at the floor level in the house, and i think in the conference level how legislation should be put together. many people criticize us and this body as dysfunctional. but if they look at all of the amendments we considered every time we took the farm bill up in the committee, all of the debate, all of the discussion, if they consider the amazing amount of amendments we considered on the floor of the united states house and all the debate and discussion and votes, if they take note of how long and how much effort the principals and the conferees put in to putting this conference report together, they would understand that this bill, while everyone may not agree with every line, every word, every policy in it, this bill reflects , unlike almost any that have been done for years, how it should be done.
good men and women of different opinion working to get to a final product. i hope this reflects a change in how we'll do our business here across the board. but i'm proud of what we have done and i'm proud of how we have done t i'm proud of the reforms and savings. i'm proud of my ranking member and all my colleagues who have been involved. reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson:thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. peterson:today as the chairman said after nearly four years of work the house is finally considering the 2014 farm bill conference report. it's been a challenging and frustrating process. i think everybody will agree. but through it the ag committee persevered and we do what we
have always done, work together. the report before us today represents a compromise. i know this is rare in washington, but that's what needed to actually get something done around this place. i didn't get everything i wanted. the chairman didn't get everything he wanted. that's how the compromise works. for example, there's been a lot of discussion about dairy, but we are moving away from the olet dairy program to a new program that -- from the old dairy program to a new program that is much more sensible, that has market signals in it to deal with overproduction. the only question i have is whether they are going to be strong enough. we'll find out as we go through the process. in the body title i'm still disappointed we didn't go to 500 acres t would have been the smart thing to dofment but wasn't to be. at the end of the day i believe my reservations are outweighed by the need to provide a long-term certainty for agriculture and nutrition programs and the many positive improvements and reforms
included in the final bill. among other thention the conference report will protect and improve the crop insurance system, probable lith most important safety net, continues sugar polcy, streamlines conservation programs so that we can continue to preserve our natural resources, provides disaster assistance for livestock producers, applies conservation protections to crop insurance, and recognizes the growing consumer demand for fresh fruits, vegetables, local foods, and organics. in closing i want to thank the chairman for his work and congrat him for -- congratulate him for getting to us work with us to get to final conclusion here. also for his members and our members for the -- their support in hanging in there to get to this point. i also want to thank the agriculture committee staff who have been working so hard over these last years night and day through all these different situations we have been in. and i would like to submit their names for the record, if that is ok.
again, mr. speaker, this process has gone on too long. we need to conclude it today. i urge my colleagues to support the conference report. yield back. reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minute. mr. mcgovern: i want to thank chairman lucas and ranking member peterson for all their hard work on this very difficult bill. i admire their tenacity and i admire their passion on issues dealing with agriculture. there are some good things in this bill, to be sure. but there are some things that i simply cannot accept. i think as we discuss this farm bill that we should remind ourselves of a few simple facts. facts like this, hunger exists in the united states of america. not a single congressional district in this country is hunger free. our food banks, our food pantries, the people on the frontlines in the fight against hunger simply cannot do any more. they are stretched to the
limits. one final fact, this bill will make hunger worse in america not better. if this bill passes, thousands and thousands of low-income americans will see their already meager food benefits shrink, for what? why? to meet some arbitrary deficit reduction goal? to pay the cost of the give aways and crop insurance program to pay for the sweetheart deals for the sushi rice growers and peanut farmers and god knows who else? i know many of my colleagues would just like this whole farm bill issue to go away. they want to pass a bill and forget about and move on to something else. but, mr. speaker, the people who will hurt by this bill aren't going away. they can't forget about it and move on to something else because they'll suffer. they will have to do -- they'll have to make do with less food tomorrow than they have today. i have heard all the arguments trying to justify this $8.6 billion cut in snap. well, it's just a loophole or it could have been a lot worse. or the states should pick up the
slack, or local governments or churches or food banks or the tooth fairy. those arguments are easy to make from the comfort of our own warm homes and full bellies, but they ring hollow to an elderly person who will have to take their medicine on an empty stomach, or child who will have to skip breakfast before going to scoo. i think it's wrong and cannot support it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. r. lucas: mr. speaker, i yield to one of my outstanding subcommittee chairmen, the gentleman from arkansas, mr. crawford, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for one minute. mr. crawford: i want to thank chairman lucas and ranking member peterson for putting in so much hard work and dedication getting where we are today. and i echo ranking member's sentiments to the staff. thank you very much for everything that you have done. after more than three years of being involved in a farm bill process, i'm proud to support a final product that not only greatly benefits producers but deploys investments and jobs to rural america.
despite our sharp regional differences we prevailed in crafting commodity programs that promote regional fairness by providing a strong safety net that protects all producers from market risk. we can finally provide relief to our cattlemen t. rural development funding will be critical. while conservation and forestry programs will preserve our natural resources for years to come. although i'm pleased with the farm bill today i'm disappointed we left important issues on the table like fixing country of origin labeling for the meat industry. we could have gone further on relieving regulations on small farmers. even though i believe we could have done more, i'm proud of the conservative reforms we have made in stood stamp program by elimb -- food stamp program by eliminating waste. the agriculture committee accomplished tough goal by consolidating tozzes of programs. appreciate the patience of all our produces through this
process. i strongly urge a yes vote on this report and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does -- the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. costa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. costa: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this conference committee report. there are a lot of reasons why, first i'd like to commend the chairman and the ranking members of both the house and the senate ag committees and my fellow conferees and the staff for all the hard work that went into reaching this agreement. while this is not a perfect bill, there never is, this agreement is a result of more than four years' of bipartisan negotiations. two marathon committee meeting markups, multiple floor debates. this bill almost reminds me of the movie "groundhog day" because it seems to come back and back again. for my home state of california, the leading agriculture state in the nation, this farm bill is a dramatic investment in many of
the specialty crops for research, market production, and the development programs which benefit our vegetable and fruit producers of which we produce over half the nation's supply. these programs not only help my constituents produce the safest and most nutritious fruits and vegetables that we eat throughout the nation, but also throughout the world. just as important for my district are the disaster relief programs that help farmers, ranchers, and dairymen and producers through these difficult times. many may not be aware but california's facing the driest, driest year on record which jeopardizes both food production and jobs in my district. this bill contains programs to provide help when disaster strikes, from drilling wells to direct assistance to growers or katelemen who have been hurt by this devastating drought. while i support conference committee report, i am disappointed they did not take the opportunity to resolve the meat labeling issue that threatens our beef and poultry producers and our important trading partners, canada and
mexico, or deemed critical and are dealing with us and the world trade organization. i'm currently drafted legislation on a bipartisan basis to try to fix this labeling issue once and for all. this debate, though, has dragged on for way too long. let's give farmers and ranchers and dairy producers the certainty that they deserve through our five-year farm bill. now is the time to get this farm bill done by passing this conference committee report. i thank you, mr. speaker, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i'm happy to yield three minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. kind. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for three minutes. mr. kind: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. kind: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to thank my good friend from massachusetts for yielding this time and for the leadership he's shown on the nutrition title and for the plight of hunger throughout our country. it's commendable. mr. speaker, i have been here for a few farm bills in the past. i used to be a member of the agriculture committee. i certainly appreciate how very
difficult it is to put together a bipartisan farm bill with so many different moving parts. i have all the respect and admiration for the leadership in the committee, but i also sense that we have reached a point of fatigue and exhaustion. people just want this farm bill to go away after years of being worked on. i appreciate that, too. but we are only given one opportunity every five or in this case seven years to reform farm policy to make it better, make it bert for our family farms, make it more responsible for the american taxpayer, to make production agriculture work for all americans, and i'm afraid this farm bill yet again pulls up short. i would beseech my colleagues to take additional time to work on some reform measures that do make sense. rather than looking at another $8.6 billion in cuts to the nutrition tight on top of previous cuts that have already been had, let's look at some of these subsidy programs. i am afraid the bill before us today maintains huge taxpayer subsidies that go to a few but very large agribusinesses at the expense of our family farmers around the country.
it's going to lead to greater consolidation and production in agriculture, going to continue to drive up land values. going to make it harder for new beginning farmers to enter the occupation. it's not responsible to thee family farmers and not responsible to the american taxpayer. we've got historically high commodity target prices in this bill, so any slight dip going to mean huge payments going out in the future. we have the multiple entity rule now that we worked on in the previous farm bill being rolled back in one. we have payment limitation caps being increased rather than brought down to where the will of this congress was last year when we had that debate on the floor. most of that money is being shifted now into the crop insurance program which what i feel is overly generous preemyuss -- crop insurance subsidies to producers which has the potential of taking risk out of production decisions, but we're telling
the crop insurance companies, 're going to guarantee a 14% profit margin. we're going to pay your entirely administrative and operating expenses and by the way, you're going to have little risk. the american taxpayer will not bear that risk. there is not a business in the world that will sign up for that offer so why are we doing that in this farm bill? representative petri and i had a reform of the crop insurance program asking these crop insurance companies, put a little more skin in the game. we understand it's a valuable risk management tool that needs to be there for producers but this goes overboard with it. and then finally, we got a domestic cotton program that's gotten us into trouble with brazil. in the average taxpayer knew that for the last four years we funneled out $150 million worth of taxpayer subsidies going to subsidize brazil cotton farmers, they'd be livid, and yet this bill does not fix that cotton problem and now it's up to brazil whether they want to
level economic sanctions against us. more work needs to happen and unfortunately this bill pulls up short. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to recognize for one minute one of our hardest working subcommittee chairmen, the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. conaway: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the farm bill, legislation that provided much-needed reform, it's fiscally responsible, providing market-based solutions and streamlining more than 100 programs. we eliminated direct payments that farmers received and replaced them with a safety net that provides help only when the farmers need it. the bill includes the most significant reform to food stamp programs since the welfare reform of 1996. while i personally am disappointed we didn't fix some issues, i do believe this bill provides a balanced opportunity and security and strengthens our agriculture safety net for years to come. i ask my colleagues to vote yes
on the safety net, vote yes for these modest reforms to food stamp, pass this conference report, give our farmers and ranchers across this country the five years of stability and security they need to execute their business plans, to allow them to continue to provide the american people with the most affordable and abundant food and fiber supply in the most developed world. vote yes on the conference report. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is ecognized. mr. peterson: i yield two minutes to mr. schrader. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. schrader. yeah, i guess for some people, you know, you just can't do enough. i'd argue respectfully to a lot of my colleagues that the work that's gone on on both sides of the aisle in the last two years has been pretty exemplary. the farm bill is always a difficult bill to pass. i think the last couple of times it was vetoed and had to be overridden.
it could be better. i have not yet seen legislation that's exactly what i perfectly like to be voting on at the end of the day. we make huge strides in this bill that were draconian cuts to the snap and food stamp programs that are no longer in here. there were onerous incentives to get people off of food stamps that are in longer in here. for people saying people will be cut as a result of this, that's not up. if they put $20 towards the heating assistance for the low-income folks that need that, they don't get a reduced benefit. yes, it's a reduced benefit. they still qualify for their base benefit in this bill. moreover if they bring their heating and cooling bills in they can still get the expanded benefit. it just requires a little more diligence, puts faith in america that the food stamp goes to those who need it. as far as the subsidies go, hey, you know, maybe we should change that. we should work on that some more. there will be another farm bill
in four, five years, but we made huge strides. we get rid of the direct payments. we've been trying to do that for 20 years. the subsidies, the milk program are new. a margin insurance program. i think america understands that type of thing. we made huge strides here. there's so many good things. for so many friends on the democratic side of the aisle, at the end of the day, it's imperative we made huge strides, the or beganic provisions, we have done great with market access promotion programs. we made it so american farmers continue to produce the best food and fiber with the safety net that makes sure that the people on this country -- in this country get the food they need and deserve and can do the best economically on the global trade scene. i think this is a great opportunity. people here should be voting yes on this bill after the hard bipartisan work. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. well, i deeply respect my friend and colleague from oregon. i have a slightly different perspective on this because i think the bill before us today is the least that can be done and get the bill passed. it's got a number of items do i support like specialty crops. we've been working on for sometime. i'm pleased there will be or beganics have an opportunity -- organics have an opportunity to get crop insurance. this bill, as i say, takes allegedly the savings from rect payments that have been opposed for years but takes the savings and plows them back in to an enriched crop insurance program. it cuts $6 billion for conservation. yes, there are some improvements in terms of administration, but at the end of the day cuts $6 billion when land and water is under
pressure and needs it the most. this is short sided. it's very likely going to caught a lot more in the long run for reasons that my friend from wisconsin pointed out in terms of setting these targets higher. it is more generous in terms of rejecting a provision that was included in both the house and the senate version to limit payments to individual farms to $50,000. the conference committee increases the limit to $125,000 and reopens a loophole closed in both the house and senate bills, allowing the payments to be collected by multiple people. it's just one more example of where the conference committee that i think had one meeting and sort of massaged these things to put the pieces together to secure a majority on the floor but is not by any stretch of the imagination in the best interest of most farmers, certainly not for the
environment and for the american taxpayers. i respectfully urge its rejection. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: mr. speaker, i yield the gentleman from arkansas, who's been very focused on these critical issues, especially those involving livestock, mr. womack, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for two minutes. mr. womack: thank you, mr. speaker. i, too, want to congratulate the chairman and to his ranking member and my colleague from arkansas, one of the committee members, mr. crawford, for their diligent work and coming up with this committee report. this was not easy, to say the least. that said, mr. speaker, because the senate's my way or the highway attitude, we're considering a conference report that does nothing to address an out-of-control agency, gipsa, from imposing on american companies regulations that go well beyond congressional
intent. because of the senate's all or nothing approach, we're considering a conference report that will subject american industries and companies to retaliatory tariffs. for me it would be easy to vote against this conference report, but unlike my senate counterparts, i recognize that in divided government each side has to find common ground. ultimately, this report, like many of the other bipartisan agreements that had been signed into law, move the ball forward by making much-needed reforms to federal programs and reducing spending. that's why in the end i will support it. i am hopeful, however, mr. speaker, that the house appropriations committee will do everything in its power to fix some of these mistakes. i, as a member of that committee, will fight to rein in gipsa, and i'll work to fix the country of origin labeling requirements. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas yields back the balance of his time.
the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. maryland fudge: let me thank by leader pelosi by appointing me to the farm bill committee. i thank representatives peterson and lucas and senators stabenow and cochran for their leadership in negotiating this conference report. throughout this process, it was my goal to ensure a fair and balanced farm bill. while i do not agree with some of the provisions of this conference bill, i firmly believe it is a good compromise. given how far apart we were when this conference began, i am pleased members on both sides of the aisle and across the chamber were able to reach a consensus and show the american people congress can work together. the agreement rejects categorycal eligibility,
something we talk about for sometime. the $8.6 billion savings in snap over 10 years, over 10 years comes from a change in liheap policy that would shrink benefits for approximately 850,000 households in 16 states. it does not eliminate a qualified household from access to snap, which was an important consideration on the difficult road to reach a compromise that prevents devastating cuts and changes to this critically needed program. this agreement also expands economic investment in low income, urban and rural communities. it provides certainty and sound agricultural policies for america's farmers and ranchers. passing the farm bill has always been a bipartisan endeavor. and this conference committee report proves it is still possible for congress to work through its differences and produce a balanced bill that meets the needs of the american people. we have negotiated the farm
bill for the last two years. it is now time to move forward. i strongly encourage my colleagues to join me and vote yes on this bipartisan, bicameral conference agreement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from ohio yields back. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'm delighted to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from wisconsin is recognized for two minutes. thank you so very much. i rise to oppose this compromised bill, although i congratulate people for working very hard on it. but the change of the heat and eat option is not just a little technical change, it's a change that has the freezing, chilling impact on every single snap recipient in wisconsin. it not only increases
bureaucracy, it decreases snap benefits to wisconsin families whose benefits were cut already in november. i'm deeply concerned about the concrete, hurt, hunger and quite frankly the frigid cold that we impose today on thousands of low-income american households, including seniors, children and the disabled. as many as 255,000 snap cases in wisconsin will be affected by this change. how do i explain this to the women, children, seniors and disabled in households that this technical change is minor when they stand to lose $90 a month in benefits when you consider what they lost in november? $90 a month to a poor family is not a technical change. it's a lot of money. it's more than $1,000 a year. the price of food is not going to go down.
nor is the price of fuel. nor is the purchasing power of the poor going to go up. snap benefits already do not meet nutritional needs throughout the month. and this change will mean that real food will be off real tables and out of the stomaches of current recipients. it proposed cut on top of resulting in a drop to wisconsin is just too much. in the heat and eat states, that's as much as 11% of all beneficiaries. in one step, we impose new administrative costs on those states and make it harder to keep snap more responsive. kids were off school two days, two days this week because of the frigid, dangerous cold. following these families back
the heat or eat is the wrong thing to do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to another one of my outstanding subcommittee chairmen, the gentleman from georgia, mr. austin scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to first say thank you to chairman lucas and ranking member peterson. the ag committee has some of the most conservative members in the house and some of the most liberal members in the house, and i'll tell you we've got a lot of different opinions about what could and what should be done, but we had respectful discussion across the aisles and across the philosophical debates. i have said many times from this podium that the foundation of our economy in this country is based on two things, one being manufacturing, and the other based on agriculture. this bill does the things that it needs to do to ensure that foundation for our agricultural producers to help with that part of the economy. it also ensures that as those farmers go forward and dot things that they do in providing the food, nutrition, and fiber
not only for america but the rest of the world, that americans, americans when they go to the grocery store, will get more for their dollar than any other country as they seek to feed their families. we found agreement to clean up waste and abuse within many of the systems, including the food stamp system. we have given more money to food banks, which i think that is an extremely important -- making sure the most needy of america's citizens have a place to go and make sure that they can get the nutrition that they need. we have put some new policies in place and i'm confident that this bill is a move in the right direction where we've got those areas where we did not find the agreement, i'm confident we'll be able to come back an work on those. i'm proud to support this bill. mr. speaker, i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to my colleague from minnesota, mr. walls -- walz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes.
mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you to the chairman and ranking member for your incredible hard work. the folks of oklahoma and minnesota should be proud of the representative that they have sent here. i'm proud of this piece of legislation. i stand in support of it. it's been two years. i feel like we have been at it most of our life. while i hear people pointing out problems, i'm certainly there. if we had each written this bill it would look different. i hear people say it's not perfect. we had a former colleague once who said, of course it's not perfect. if you want perfect, you'll get that in heaven. at times this place is closer to hell. this is a pretty good compromise we have come up with. it certainly does things, and i am proud to say it makes bold new investments in clean renewable american made energy. this is a tough decision. tough budgeting times and the commitment of this committee to make that happen i could not be prouder. it also takes bold steps moving the country forward on conservation measures. one piece in here protecting our native prairies in the midwest is fabulous. i want to thank the gentlelady from south dakota, miss glome, for her unwavering effort on
this -- mrs. noem for her this.ring effort on you can have all things, as the folks over at "ducks unlimited said" this is one of the best pieces of conservation legislation in decades to do that. we have struck balance. producing food, feeding the world, clothing the world, powering the world, at the same time providing that area to sportsmen and pristine beauty to our country. it can happen. as a veteran i'm proud we took a bold step in here to try to get returning veterans back on the land. average age of a farmer in this country is 57 years old. we need new folks on the land. that comes with high land prices and access to capital. i worked on some beginning farmer legislation. the chairman made sure that happened in here. it's going to work, it provides some of that access and keeps our family farms continuing on. there's things to point out that you're frustrated with. i understand that. but there's a lot of good in
this bill. it's a compromise. we came together. we tried to find and strike those balances. we continue to feed those folks who need the safety net. we continue to make sure there are producers -- have the certainty that they need and i have to till all across this country this morning producers woke up quietly, went about their business, feeding, fueling, powering america. we can say thank you by passing this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i'm happy now to yield to my colleague from connecticut for three minutes, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized for three minutes. rather than producing a farm bill that meets our traditional responsibilities as a congress to support working families and farmers, this bill will do great damage to the nation's most vulnerable citizens. this bill slashes $8.6 billion
from food stamps, our nation's most important anti-hunger program. this is in addition to the $11 billion already cut. and while it goes out of its way to reopen loopholes that benefit millionaires and billionaires. interestingly enough, this bill increases the deficit this year, and the congressional budget office has said that it doesn't save the $23 billion that it claims to save. this bill results in winners and losers. winners, wealthy farmers, and agribusinesses who will be able to pocket crop insurance subsidies and other government handouts beyond the already generous limits passed earlier by both the house and the senate. congressional budget office again said that increases spending on crop insurance by $5.7 billion. the senate passed a bipartisan amendment to reduce the level of federal premium support for crop insurance participants who make
over $750,000, but the conference raised it to $900,000. winners, against the express wishes of both houses, a loophole was opened which was closed in both the house and senate bills which allows farming enterprises to overcollect on commodity payments. winners. but who are the losers? and there are losers in the farm bill. the losers are the 850,000 low-income households all over america. 1.7 million americans who will lose 66 meals a month because of this cut to food stamps. who are we talking about? children who will go hungry and spend all the next day at school. they'll go to bed hungry, spend the next day at school, unable to concentrate because they are thinking about food. veterans, roughly 900,000 of
whom receive food stamps and working families who will face an empty fridge, an annoying pain in their stomach for weeks and weeks. seniors have to choose between food or warmth. whose health will deteriorate for want of sustenance. these are our own people we are consigning to this fate. hardworking people in our district and in our communities. if you vote for this bill, you will have to look them in the eye and tell them to go without food. that they have to endure hunger because we have to give more handouts to millionaires and billionaires. that is what this farm bill is about. make no mistake. it increases hunger rather than decreases hunger in america. it picks winners and losers rather than ensuring we are supporting those that grow and those that consume the food we produce in this nation of plenty
. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from is recognized for an additional minute. ms. delauro: it picks winners and losers rather than ensuring we are supporting those that grow and those that consume the food that we produce in this nation of plenty, which is what farm bills have been about in the past. and i have negotiated nutrition titles in farm bills. this is a farm bill that undermines the health and the well-being of the most vulnerable in our society. i urge my colleagues to vote no and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the chair will receive a message. marc: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: mr. speaker, i would like to yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois who has worked extremely diligently on this bill for its entire process , mr. davis. one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to chairman lucas for the leadership he's shown in getting this conference report to the floor. i rise in strong support of this conference committee report. it is a commonsense piece of legislation p that deals with things such as overregulation. that is a silent job killer that this administration is implementing through our agricultural industry. i'm proud many of the provisions that i helped craft are in this final farm bill to reduce that opportunity for the -- for this administration to continue to kill jobs in this country. we see some commonsense reforms to the snap program. our goal should be to get people
off of snap and into jobs. mr. speaker, this bill, this bill is a lesson in fiscal responsibility. it is one of the single most -- one of the single largest cuts in mandatory spending that this congress has done which is putting our country on a path to complete fiscal responsibility. these are some of the decision that is we need to make. most of those cuts are in the agricultural side. we need to understand that this is a commonsense piece of legislation that's going to continue to reduce our deficit in this country, put us on a path to paying down our national debt, and, and putting excellent long-term farm policy in place for years to come. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to a former member of the committee, mr. walsh from vermont.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for one minute. mr. walsh: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to submit my full statement. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. walsh: in some cases we spend far too much -- mr. welch: in some cases we spend far too much needlessly and some cases we spend far too little unwisely. but a five-year farm bill is absolutely crucial to america. it is crucial to vermont dairy farmers. this bill takes three important steps for dairy farmers from vermont and throughout the country. it creates a modern day insurance program which protects farmers against the wild swings in feed prices which are totally out of their control. two, it protects taxpayers as well as farmers by limiting insurance to a farmer's base production. three, finally, it gives usda the tools to intervene if dairy prices drop dramatically.
mr. speaker, with its false and imperfections, america does need a new farm bill. agriculture is changing all around us. local food is a growing sector in my state. the organic sector is booming and people are much more aware of their food and farms. this farm bill invests in local foods, provides insurance to small farmers, and puts organic farming on a strong footing for the future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for one minute. mr. mcgovern: i want my colleagues to understand why those of us who are opposing this bill because of the snap cuts are so concerned. on november 1 when the moneys ran out, all 47 million people on snap received a cut. for an average family of three that was about a $30 reduction per month which is a lot of money when you're struggling to put food on the table. quite frankly the snap benefit in and of itself is nod at quit. people end up going to food banks anyway. if this bill passes, for over
800,000 families, well over a million people, for the average family of three, an additional $90 cut will go into effect. that's $120. i don't know where they are going to make that up. i don't know where they are going to get help. we can say let the states pick it up. well, the states aren't rushing to pick anything up. let the charities pick it up. read the newspaper last week, "new york times," all of our food banks are at capacity. they can't do it. so what's going to happen to these people? in the united states of america the richest country in the history of the world, we ought to all pledge that nobody, and i mean nobody, ought to go hungry. that's when this fight is about. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: might i inquire how much time the three of us have? it the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota has 8
1/2 minutes. the gentleman -- 6 1/2 minutes. mr. lucas: how much time? the speaker pro tempore: 11 1/2 minutes. mr. lucas: i wish to yield to the gentlelady from the da coatas who understands the diversity of weather, understands the challenges that producers half for a minute and a half, the gentlelady mrs. noem. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from south dakota is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mrs. noem: i thank the chairman for yielding and leadership on the farm bill and also ranking member peterson for all of his hard work and diligence in finding some common ground on a bill that's under -- been under negotiations for far too long. i'm so happy to be standing here with all of our members and colleagues to -- from the farm bill conference committee, which was honored to be a part of, an also everyone else who is supporting this bill, it is extremely bipartisan. it's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, but i'm proud of the fact we have a product in front of us that's not only good for producers, it's good for consumers, it secures our food supply into the future which is one of the safest in the world. we make reforms, we save
billions of tax dollars, it's accountable to the taxpayer in this country. we conserve wildlife had been tafment we provide a valuable safety net for those who grow our food and for those who rely on food assistance as well. while congress was writing this bill, my home state got hit with droughts and blizzards that cost us tens of thousands of livestock. the livestock disaster programs that i authorrd in this bill and will provide much needed relief to those who are struggling so hard during this difficult time. our black hills national forest is going to gain some regulatory relief. and additional tools to combat the pine beatle that's destroying our -- beetle that's destroying our black hills. a permanent office of tribal relations a. real victory for alt tribes who need to have better communication within usda. thousands of hunters acrossed is and every year will be glad to know they have a provision in place that will help protect grasslands. whether you grow corn, wheat,
soybeans, or cotton, producers will have more choices which at the end of the day is going to help them cover their risk that they take every year. i'm proud of the bill, i'm proud of our work. i urge our colleagues to support the bill. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. without objection, the gentleman from oklahoma reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i'm now pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mcintyre. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcintyre: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcintyre: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this farm bill. this is a strong, reform-minded bill with bipartisan support. it will grow our economy, create jobs, provide certainty, reduce our deficit and save the american taxpayers $16 billion. the bill reforms the farm safety net, strengthening crop insurance and commodity programs. these risk management tools assure farmers that help is there when they need it. the bill also encourages
conservation and develops export markets to help our farmers sell their products worldwide. rural communities depend on the farm bill too. through critical programs, small towns can build hospitals, schools, fire departments and police departments. this bill helps create jobs and economic development. water and waste water programs, the most basic of public services that allow industries to come to rural areas, give access to healthy drinking water and sanitary sewers are part of this as well. this bill has important tools for new farmers, and i can tell you as one in a state of north carolina, we're -- where one out of every five jobs are depended on agriculture or agri related business, this bill is about jobs and our economy in a way that helps states throughout our economy. there's still some work to do, like bringing country of origin labeling in compliance with w.t.o. and reducing the gipsa rules.
farmers in small towns across america have waited too long for a farm bill. our rural citizens are taxpayers, just like those who live in urban and suburban areas. they deserve the respect of this congress. ey deserve a farm bill who live in rural -- for those that live in rural areas. we as americans enjoy our wonderful supply of food and fiber that the good lord has blessed us with and our farmers worked hard to supply. we ought to work with our farmers and with agriculture and have a strong farm bill that our citizens in all of america deserve to have passed. with that i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i reserve our time at this time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: mr. speaker, i would now like to yield to another one of our outstanding subcommittee chairmen, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this farm bill and also to thank chairman lucas and congressman peterson for your leadership for agriculture. as many of my house colleagues have already said this morning, this legislation is long overdue. this bill is truly worthy of its name. the federal agriculture reform and risk management act because of the historic reforms it ledge slates. overall the bills repeals or consolidates about 100 programs. along with sequestration reduction that cuts mandatory spending by nearly $23 billion. and the conservation title alone reduces it from $23 billion to $13 billion. this bill saves $6 billion and does so without affecting the programs. we reform food stamps and we do so through thoughtful changes making sure that truly needs the assistance gets